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Michigan’s woes continue in loss at Rutgers

Wolverines fall to 7-6 and 1-2 in Big Ten play

NCAA Basketball: Michigan at Rutgers Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The Michigan Wolverines fall to 1-2 in Big Ten play and 7-6 overall as the Rutgers Scarlet Knights won 75-67 on Tuesday night. Ron Harper and Geo Baker both had monster games, scoring 20 and 27. Michigan was missing players due to COVID, and only played seven players. Hunter Dickinson led the way with 25.

First Half

Things were never very close in this one. Rutgers immediately got out to a 9-2 lead and carried their comfortable lead for the entire half, with the lead growing to as many as 14. Due to health reasons, Michigan didn’t have their normal depth, which led to increased minutes for guys like Jace Howard. After trailing by 14, the Wolverines were able to get things back to single digits before the half, and Rutgers took a 39-30 lead into the break.

Second Half

Rutgers looked like they were going to run away with this one as they stretched their to lead to 17 with around 13 minutes left. There’s no question that Michigan played better from this point on, but it wasn’t enough. Harper and Baker had it going all night and were able to knock down shots whenever Michigan was starting to get some momentum going. The Wolverines got the lead down to seven with around six minutes left, but Rutgers was able to pull away and get their first ever win against the Wolverines.

Things don’t get any easier for Michigan. No. 7 Michigan State comes to town followed by another home game against No. 3 Purdue. After that, Michigan hits the road and plays at Illinois. The Wolverines are in big trouble if things don’t get figured out fast. Players out due to illness tonight certainly didn’t help, but there’s no question that Michigan has a lot of work to do.